Potluck

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An assortment of different dishes at a church potluck

A potluck is a communal gathering where each guest or group contributes a different and hopefully unique, and often homemade, dish of food to be shared.

Other names for a "potluck" include: potluck dinner, spread, Jacob's join,[1][2] Jacob's supper, faith supper, covered-dish-supper, dish party, bring-and-share, shared lunch, pitch-in, bring-a-plate, dish-to-pass, fuddle, and carry-in.

Etymology[edit]

While there exists some disagreement as to its origin, two principal theories exist: the combination of the English "pot" and "luck" or the North American indigenous communal meal potlatch.

The word pot-luck appears in the 16th century English work of Thomas Nashe, and used to mean "food provided for an unexpected or uninvited guest, the luck of the pot."[this quote needs a citation] The modern execution of a "communal meal, where guests bring their own food," most likely originated in the 1930s during the Depression [3].

The alternative origin of the word is associated with a tradition common to the Tlingit and other indigenous peoples of the pacific northwest, called a potlatch, and is considered by opponents of this theory to be an eggcorn or malapropism.

Description[edit]

Potluck dinners are events where the attendees bring a dish to a meal. Potluck dinners are often organized by religious or community groups, since they simplify the meal planning and distribute the costs among the participants. Smaller, more informal get-togethers with distributed food preparation may also be called potlucks, the only traditional rule is that each dish be large enough to be shared among a good portion (but not necessarily all) of the anticipated guests. In some cases each participant agrees ahead of time to bring a single course, and the result is a multi-course meal. Guests may bring in any form of food, ranging from the main course to desserts; in the United States, potlucks are associated with crockpot dishes, casseroles (often called hot dishes in the upper Midwest), dessert bars, and jello salads. Traditionally, potlucks were a simple combination of dishes brought together by event attendees without a general theme. Recent times have seen the growth of themed dinners for parties or special occasions.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Partridge, Eric and Paul Beale. A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, 8th ed. (1984).
  2. ^ Bachelor, Lisa (October 4, 2002). "Surviving on a student budget". The Guardian. 
  3. ^ Flora, Martin. "Potluck Meal Innovation Due to Depression: Guests Chip in With Part of Dinner", Chicago Tribune, Chicago, 27 January 1933. Retrieved on 5 March 2017.

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